Kunwarji Bavaliya allotted 3 portfolios in Gujarat Govt

Ahmedabad, Jul 4 (PTI) Senior OBC leader Kunwarji Bavaliya, who quit the Congress and joined the BJP-led Gujarat government as a cabinet minister, was today allotted three portfolios of water supply, animal husbandry and rural housing.

Chief Secretary J N Singh informed this in a statement after a cabinet meeting was held in Gandhinagar today. "All of them (portfolios) are of my interest as they touch issues of the rural population. I am confident that I will be able to do justice to all these departments," Bavaliya told reporters.

Bavaliya, a five-time Congress legislator from Jasdan seat in Rajkot, had yesterday quit the party and hours later was inducted as a cabinet minister in the Vijay Rupani government.

In the fast-paced developments, Bavaliya resigned from the Congress, drove to the BJP office where he was inducted into the party and took oath as state minister at the Raj Bhavan in Gandhinagar.

He had accused Congress president Rahul Gandhi of "playing casteist politics in the party".

With the entry of Bavaliya who hails from Saurashtra, the BJP is hoping to attract voters from Koli community, which has a sizable presence in the region.

The BJP fared badly in Saurashtra in the last year's Assembly polls as the Patidar community deserted it following the quota agitation led by Hardik Patel.

The Koli community is present in large numbers in at least 20 Assembly constituencies in Saurashtra, which sends four MPs to the Lok Sabha.
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